How streamers have changed the face of MMO launches

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While I am 99% giddy and thrilled that New World is launching next week — the first truly big new MMORPG launch in a long, long time — I can’t help but notice that there’s one significant difference to this release than, say, back in when Guild Wars 2 or WildStar first rolled out. And that’s the streamer phenomenon.

I’ve been watching with growing disquiet how the streaming culture has affected online games, especially new ones. By and large, I have no problem with individuals who like to livestream games and share those experiences with followers. It can be entertaining and informative, and there’s a lot of good eggs out there doing this. I don’t watch streams, but I do often pick up a YouTube video here or there from streamers, so I’m acquainted with the field.

But there’s a darker side to the streaming phenomenon that is hard to…

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